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Posts Tagged ‘rock’

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

Song Writer: Paul Simon

December 2016 - looking outBeing alone allows me to ground my spirit and find center. It gives me the space to think, to cry, to create, to feel, to dance, to understand my many dichotomies and then to emerge from my alone-ness when I am ready.

 

While I love people, I also believe that being by myself much of the time is natural and perhaps how I was meant to be. From the moment I was born, I was thrust into a world of alone-ness. Perhaps it began in utero and then continued as the family of my birth didn’t have the skill or wherewithal to raise me in a healthy environment.

 

From my earliest memories, I was blessed to learn how take care of my spirit. There was no one to hold me, to nurture me, or to love me into the person I was meant to become.

 

As early as I can remember, my young life was filled with tears as I learned that the best thing to do when in distress was put a pillow over my head so no one could hear me cry or even scream. At one point, I remember believing that even God couldn’t hear my pain. I think that was the beginning of me wrestling with whether or not God had a role in my life. I am still wrestling with that today which is to say that there are times I am completely aware of how alone I actually am.

 

I always wanted to be like a rock or maybe like an island. I believed (and sometimes I still do) that I was safer navigating the world alone, turning inward, and being silent.  The idea that I could surround myself with my poetry, my books, and even my creativity, was profound. I could navigate this world alone.  All I ever wanted and still want is safety. I want to feel the cocoon of love and softness around my spirit.

 

My childhood and teenage scars remind me that safety is never given. If I want to be safe, I have to love myself enough to honor my needs at any given moment and to shield myself from harm whenever possible. I’ve got this!!! AND I am also a part of many loving tribes including my family, my friendship circles, my faith based communities, and activists.

 

Love is so complicated. Those we love have the ability to hurt us more than anyone else ever can. And the older I get, the more I realize that I don’t have what it takes to recover from the pain that I once brushed off with ease. The good news is that this has led me to nurturing friendships that truly fuel my soul.

 

For the most part being alone is not sad for me. I thrive on all that I love to do and how I walk in the world. I treasure those people in my life, I just find it easier when I am in my own little cocoon breathing, creating, and being in the fullness of who I truly am.

 

My work will continue to be honoring my need for alone-ness while not getting stuck in the alone-ness that I learned as a young child. I need to keep doing the holy work of living. AND to fully live means that I have holy work to do! I need to keep listening to the inner voice that both reminds me to take time to thrive in my alone-ness while also remembering my love for humanity.

 

And while I may constantly be developing my foundation so that it is as strong as a rock, I also have to keep showing up to the table – again and again and again.

Hineini, I am here!

 

Onward with love, light, and blessings,

Chava

PS: Thanks for reading what will likely be part of my memoir which at this point is being called, Thriving: No Option. . . . If you like what you are reading, please take a moment and like it on WordPress or any social media site, And if you have feedback, I’d love to hear it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom. For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Creating Your Makom Kadosh,
Your Sacred Place

pet-rock

As a writer, I have always fallen in love with sweet nooks that inspire my words to flow.

Until the last few years, I would plop myself down anywhere and write, but that isn’t the case now. But during my two-year Kol Zimra, Chant Leader’s Training with Rabbi Shefa Gold, my relationship to space changed. During this amazing series of workshops in New Mexico, I began to appreciate how creating a spiritual space enhanced my ability to dig deeper within myself allowing me to ultimately pull out ideas and thoughts worthy of sharing with others. I also began to understand that if I surrounded myself with beauty and calm energy, my entire spirit would soar.

My spirituality has developed significantly now that I am more cognizant of my surroundings. Today not only do I spend time writing, but I also take the time to chant, drum, dance, and pray. I think about my space when I eat, cook, read, and simply take time to breathe. Surrounding myself with what resonates within me enables me to a happier and calmer person.

Many moving parts combined create a sacred space for me. Over the years, I have learned that less is more. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist exactly, but I aspire to surround myself with only that which jazzes my soul. I want to love each of every fiber within my space. I am sensitive to colors, lighting, textures, smells. In the background, I always have a sense of the sounds; sometimes I want to hear nigunim (wordless melodies), sometimes chanting, sometimes rock, sometimes folk, and sometimes the sounds of the outdoors is perfect for my spirit. There are times I want to listen and times I want to sing, but I creatively ignite when hearing the songs and melodies that touch me deeply.

Years ago, I also discovered that life needs be part of my surroundings. Plants, flowers, herbs, and animals only enhance my mood. There is something heart-warming about being enveloped by life or by natural beauty.  My disposition tends to do better when I am around earthiness.

With all of this in mind, I am so looking forward to moving to Houston in ten days where I can establish a nurturing foundation that embraces who I am and where I can feel at home with my soul.

In my heart, I believe that in order to be content with what is, each of us need to love wherever we are standing or work towards whatever it is that we think we feel would be right for us.

Think about it, what do you need in order to make your personal space sacred.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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The Torah is often referred to as ‘The Living Torah’ in part because so many of the timeless stories weave together the Jewish ethics and values of the past to those of today.

Life is full of journeys.  Personally, I have traveled great distances to seek what I am looking for; I have made choices that have empowered me to navigate myself out of hot water; I have had to tread high waters for periods of time before finding calmer waters.  Within each and every journey I have received messages from the universe or perhaps from God that have enabled me create stronger foundations within my life.

As I studied Parshat Vayaytzay, I found that I, like others are following in Jacob’s footsteps as we have all navigated life and sought that which we are looking for.

Here are a few examples of what one can learn from Jacob’s journey.

  1. Upon leaving home to both run from Essau and to find a wife, Jacob stopped for the night to sleep.  After he laid his head upon a rock while sleeping, he gained insights and believed that God would protect him.  After a long day, we often come to our strongest realizations when all is quiet in the world and we are left alone with our thoughts.  I find it intriguing that Jacob used a rock to lay down.  Rocks are often used as a metaphor for life and for building strong foundations.  I often keep a rock in my pocket as a symbol to remind me to hold firm to my values and to work towards creating stronger foundations within my life.
  2. Once Jacob arrives at Haran, he goes to the well to care for himself and his animals.  At this point, the wealthy Rachel who herself has her own servants, gathers water for the stranger and his flock.  May each of us remember that regardless of what we have or don’t have, we have the power to reach out to others and to help in any way we can.
  3. Jacob falls in love with Rachel and even though he has worked for seven years in order to marry her, he is deceived into marrying Leah, Rachel’s sister, instead.  Jacob then works another seven years in order to be granted permission to marry his beloved Rachel.  Waiting is a challenging part of life, my hope is that none of us have wait fourteen years to marry our beloved, but sometimes it takes years to reach our goals.  Only through actively pursuing our dreams do we have a chance of actualizing our personal ambitions or hopes.

In his book, The Bedside Torah, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, shares that through the power of imagination each of us has the ability to transform the world and ourselves.  When Jacob laid his head on the rock, little did he know how that one dream would transform how he walked in the world and the effect it would have on others to this day.

May each of us be blessed with a moment that empowers us move forward with inner strength and to make positive choices in our lives.

Shabbat Shalom

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I found what has become my bet rock.  Feel free to laugh at me; I am.

Yesterday, as I was moving through a rather challenging day, I found myself needing to touch base with that rock which for some reason I was carrying with me in my pocket.  So I did.  Throughout the day held the rock in my hand; sometimes I just touched the outside of my pocket to make sure that the rock was there.

I love how this little rock has become my teacher.

The sweet little rock reminded me that I had to stay strong and that maintaining my foundation was an important need too.  The beauty of the rock reminds me that I have live with inner beauty and integrity.  I have to walk gently in a loving and sweet demeanor.  The earth is profoundly beautiful where I live in Tucson and the surrounding areas.  As long as I remain grounded in this beauty all will ultimately thrive.

My life has felt overwhelming as I have had to navigate some difficult challenges lately.  In truth, internally I am struggling, but the rock reminds me to stay focused and present.  My foundation is strong and getting stronger.  All will be ok; it always is for me.

Amazing how a small rock has such empowering energy.

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